The United States government has a long history of working with contractors to help carry out its various functions. The use of contractors dates back to the early days of the Republic when George Washington hired them to build fortifications and other structures. Today, the federal government spends billions of dollars on contracts for goods and services.
It’s estimated that the United States government will spend a staggering $665 billion on contract work in 2020. This was an increase of $70 billion from the previous year. This shows that the government is relying on businesses to get their job done.
There are a variety of reasons why the government relies on contractors. Contracting allows the government to tap into a pool of specialized expertise that would be expensive or difficult to develop internally. They can also provide flexibility and responsiveness that government agencies may find difficult to match. Finally, contracting can help the government save money by taking advantage of economies of scale and other cost efficiencies.
The SBA reports that small businesses receive about 23% of the dollars awarded through federal contracting. This might not seem like a lot, but it adds up to billions of dollars each year. And according to the SBA, federal contracting has been a critical driver of small business growth over the past decade.
If you’re a small business owner interested in doing contract work for the government, there are a few things you need to know.
Choosing the Right Industry
Being in the right industry can make a huge difference. Most contractual work is concentrated in the construction industry. Construction equipment for sale and rent will always be essential for government construction work. Selling skid steer loaders is great for excavation, while crane rental is essential for bigger buildings. However, construction isn’t the only industry that works well with the government.
Being in the arms industry can also make a huge difference. A huge percentage of government contracts go into the military. Many work with R&D but there are also many that manufacture arms for the United States military.
Other top industries for government contracts include:
- Information Technology
- Environmental Services
- Management Consulting
- Health Care
Once you’ve chosen the right industry, it’s time that you get yourself registered.
The application process for getting government contracts can be long and complicated. But it’s worth it if you’re selected. The first step is to register your business with the System for Award Management (SAM). This is an online database that allows businesses to apply for federal contracts. The registration process can take a few weeks, so it’s important to get started early.
Once you’re registered, you’ll need to submit a bid for any open contract that you’re interested in. The bid process can be very competitive, so it’s important to put your best foot forward.
Winning a government contract is only half the battle. The other half is marketing your business to the government. This can be a challenge, as government agencies are often resistant to change. But there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success.
First, make sure you have a solid online presence. This means having a website optimized for search engines and easy to navigate. You should also make sure your social media accounts are up-to-date and active.
You should also consider attending trade shows and conferences that focus on the government contracting industry. These events are great networking opportunities and can help you get your foot in the door.
Partnering with other business that already has a strong relationship with the government might also be a good idea. This can help you get your products and services in front of the right people.
Finally, make sure you’re always providing top-notch customer service. Government agencies have a lot of red tapes to deal with, so they need contractors that are responsive and easy to work with.
Networking is vital in the business world, and it’s especially important in the government contracting industry. There are a few ways to network with other businesses and government officials.
One way is to join trade associations and professional organizations. These groups often host events and conferences to help you meet new people and learn more about the industry.
Another great way to network is to attend small business events hosted by the SBA or other government agencies. These events are usually open to the public and provide a great opportunity to learn more about contracting with the government.
You can also use social media to connect with other businesses and government officials. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for making new connections. You should also consider following relevant hashtags on Twitter. Certain government representatives are on Twitter, so making yourself available there can make a huge difference.
The Bottom Line
Working with the United States government can be a great way for small businesses to start. There are billions of dollars up for grabs each year, and the government is always looking for new contractors. But it’s essential to choose the right industry and go through the registration process carefully. Doing so will give you the best chance of success.